Can Laughter Count as Exercise?…ABSOLUTELY
There was an article in the Huffington Post on the 5th of May that asked “Can Laughter Count as Exercise?”(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/laughter-exercise_n_1400616.html) The conclusion that they reach is “While a laugh attack sure feels good, there is little evidence that suggests laughing can effectively replace a workout” What a load of rubbish. What don’t these people know about laughter or more importantly what do we know that we should be telling them.
In the past…
In the past Laughter Yoga has been heavily promoted as a fun, happy, loving, and connecting exercise. All of these are considered as “soft” concepts that are easy to feel but hard to measure. Discussing Laughter Yoga in this way assisted the common perception that we were all more than a little weird and the concept as a passing fad.
In the present…
More recently we have positioned Laughter Yoga as a medical alternative or better still an additional therapy to whatever people are already undertaking to deal with certain medical conditions. The big topics in this field have been cancer, heart attacks and strokes, and depression. These have helped us to become a more serious option with much clinical and scientific evidence to support us. Even in the Huffington article it tells how “results showed a 30 to 40 percent increase in diameter of the heart’s blood vessels…and those changes to blood vessels are all part of an important process that helps the body regulate blood flow and reduce inflammation—clearly this is no laughing matter” I agree.
In the future…
Finally the debate gets around to comparing Laughter Yoga with sport. It states that “a person would need to be seriously in stitches (for hours on end) to see any real muscle toning or conditioning effects.” Ah so it is in fact exercise just not in the format that the author defines it. So how do most people define exercise? Most would certainly see it in the physical sense. I see it differently.
Laughter Yoga as exercise
I see exercise as the body changing due to exercise in the aerobic sense. People who attend a Laughter Club have proven that their heart rate doubles in the first ten minutes, their oxygen capacity triples, and blood circulation increases dramatically while blood pressure decreases. Now that’s what I call true health.
Health is not just about being “not sick”
Too often we rate ourselves as being healthy just because we are not sick. True health comes from conducting activities that result in the proactive promotion of health away from being just not sick. That’s what Laughter Yoga is. Oh and by the way the very successful female tennis player Serena Williams when she was in Australia recently said that she developed her abdominal muscles by laughing as “ab crunches” are way too hard. So with all of this considered when someone asks you “Can laughter count as exercise?” I hope you can confidently answer…ABSOLUTELY ! ! !